Though it took longer than usual, the disgusting heat of the dead of summer has finally arrived. If you can’t be in air conditioning all the time — and that is certainly ideal — you’re going to need to think of creative ways to cool your hot self off when you’re walking to the grocery store. Or mailbox. Fortunately, the humble ice pop exists, capable of making the most unbearable summer afternoon livable.
And in Dallas and beyond, plenty of places are available to pop in for an ice pop when you need it the most. Should you find yourself driving past one of these 10 paleterias and frozen pop shops, go ahead and stop — if you don't you’ll regret it when you start sweating in places where no one should.
Steel City Pops
There's a wide variety of frozen treats at this Birmingham, Alabama, import — wide enough to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters — and the menu is divided simply into “fruity” and “creamy” flavors. When it’s this damn hot outside, choose a cantaloupe or blackberry pop from the case and dunk it directly into a glass of gin that you brought from home. (Note: This is probably not acceptable, just ideal).
Paleteria San Marcos
Ice pops aren’t just trendy in Mexican culture; they’re a basic fact of summer survival. The fresh and fruity paletas at Paleteria San Marcos in Richardson (14203 S. Coit Road) are practically engineered to help cool you off a few degrees. You’ll find traditional Mexican flavors here, like mango, tamarind and pineapple, along with the usual ice cream shop standards. Treat yourself to a nanche pop, made with a sweet South American fruit that has notes of cherry and apricot.
Pop Star Popsicles
This roving cart is easy enough to find at farmers markets and events across the city, but you can also just head to Green Grocer for your fix of Pop Star Popsicles, arguably the best frozen pops in town. The seasonally influenced flavor selection here is fresh and always changing, so you really can’t go wrong with any choice. This time of year, your best bet is the watermelon pop, which tastes much fresher than any of those seedless melons at the grocery store.
Paleteria La Super
You’ll have to drive to Garland, but when you get there, you’ll thank us. Paleteria La Super doesn’t have the fancy bells and whistles of hipper shops, but the quality is just as high. Banana and piña colada are perennial faves, but the mango with chile is probably the best around. If you decide that you can’t make it all the way to Garland, head to The Foundry, where La Super’s treats are on offer for $2 each.
Coolhaus doesn't have many fruity ice pops, but ice cream bars are close enough, so this roving food truck counts. When only something creamy will do, take a few of the truck’s ice cream bars, in flavors like coffee & cookies, vanilla and chocolate-hazelnut, to go. You’ll want to stash a cooler in the car if you plan to get your pops home safely, but there’s a good chance you'll eat them before you park.
If the agua frescas, smoothies, and fresh cut fruit aren’t refreshing enough, dig into the cheap and tasty paletas at the various Fruteria Cano locations around Dallas. You’ll have to reach into the freezer cases — much like your childhood memories — but there are plenty of delicious finds. The coconut paleta you’ll find here is addictive in a serious way.
La Original Michoacana
You can thank gentrification for this tragedy, but La Original Michoacana isn’t going to be open for much longer, thanks to skyrocketing rent. Before this Oak Cliff classic closes its doors, you should visit every day to stock up on freshly made paletas. We’re sad to see this one go, but take advantage of it while you can. Hands down, best paletas in the city, in any flavor. But you should probably try mango or strawberry, just to start.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.